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Review no Jutsu!
Constructive Criticism and Reviews for Naruto Fan Fiction
Review of fic Parallels by Lazuli & QuestofDreams 
30th-Dec-2005 01:42 pm
Fun in Sun
Happy New Year (in advance)... My first time posting a review here, so typos be damned here goes:

Title: Parallels
Author: Lazuli and QuestofDreams
Summary: A bad jutsu has Naruto stuck in a parallel world that's almost like a dream.
Genres: Angst, Drama
Rating: R
Source: http://www.adultfanfiction.net/aff/story.php?no=544199647

Plot: One morning Naruto wakes up to a different Konoha. One where he is not hated by the populace, and his father still lives. Even his relationship with Sasuke is a completely different one. Does he really want to go back to his angst-filled life when this one is so much easier for him?

Grammar, Style, Spelling and Punctuation: I try not to be much of a spelling or grammar nazi, but since nothing in this multi-part story made me pull my hair out I will assume the spelling, punctuation and grammar are done reasonably well. Not perfect because dammit, nothing is perfect. However, I don't remember any obvious flaws.

Originality: The idea that Yondaime is Naruto's father isn't that unique, but the way it's presented in this story is very original. You feel Naruto's pain as he tries to reconcile this fact in this reality. The hurtful words he tells his father when he's trying to figure out why he is living in this universe were pretty gripping, you feel for Yondaime as much as you feel for Naruto.

Characterization: Given Yondaime is kind of a blank slate for most writers... we only get to see a bit of him in the Kakashi Gaiden if you read the manga, I thought his characterization is pretty good here. He's a fair man but still has a bit of mischievousness to him so you could see where Naruto gets his sense of mischief.

Naruto is Naruto. Loud but angry. And not willing to give up on his world despite the niceness of everything around him. He still feels empathy for his alter-self, who was basically a spoiled prince thrown into his hellish (i.e. normal) existence.

Sasuke here is a Sasuke who is not quite as bitter or power-hungry as the Sasuke in Naruto's world. This Sasuke never ran off to Orochimaru. Never had the battle that separated him from Naruto for years. So he's confused as to why Naruto is so full of pain and hurt.

Entertainment: Mighty entertaining. I've held off posting this because it's not complete yet, although it seems like it's one or maybe two chapters away from being completed.

Canon: Unfair since in fiction nothing is truly canon. But this is a SasuNaru story in both worlds, in one world where they are friends and rivals and in the other where they are lovers.

Flaws: None really. Although I think I would like if there was a little more Naruto interacting with Yondaime. They are pretty cute together and while Naruto is enjoying every moment he has with his father, he is also trying to not let himself enjoy it too much since it will be gone once he's back to his world. I know it's really a SasuNaru story and they are the focus, but it is still a nice element of an orphan who has never known family getting family and watching that play out. Actually a possible flaw is how silent Kyuubi is in all that is happening to Naruto, but it doesn't really bother me that much that he is pretty quiet throughout.

Strengths: Plenty. I rather like the fact that Sasuke was giving Naruto pointers on how to change his relationship with bastard Sasuke once he gets home. I also like how Naruto wants to get home to things that are familiar to him, yet deep down he also wishes he could stay where he is. However, for him the reality of who he is and how the hard knocks of life made him what he is wins out over a softer easier life.

Suggestions: None. I just want to see how it plays out to the end. :)

Overall rating: A very worthy read. Check it out.

Sample of the story: (I'm no good at picking sections but here's part of the first chapter copied and pasted):

Naruto's frown grew deeper as he stared at Sasuke. "What the hell is going on here?" he demanded. He and Sasuke had grown closer in the years since Sasuke came back from what Naruto termed his 'hissy fit', and he could generally trust him. Naruto was already searching throughout the room for his uniform, and continued to speak to Sasuke. "Where the hell am I?"

Sasuke watched Naruto pull open the drawers of his dresser, poking through its contents as if he hadn't a clue where anything was. He muttered something under his breath as he withdrew a pair of black pants from a drawer. A moment later, he threw open the closet doors and shouted, "Ah ha!" as he discovered a familiar black shirt and vest.

Sasuke, impatient with Naruto's peculiar behavior, marched up to the frazzled blond and gripped his chin in the same gesture as the Yondaime had only a moment before. "What's wrong with you?" he demanded.

Naruto jerked away, scowling. "What's wrong with you?" he shot back. "You're not upset at all that there is some moron pretending to be the Yondaime!" His hands gripped the fabric of his clothing, almost ripping it in his frustration. "I won't stand for anyone mocking him like that!"

Sasuke pulled the cloth free of Naruto's grip and clasped their hands, trying to calm the blond. "Naruto, I know you couldn't have hit your head so hard yesterday that you can't even recognize your own father."

Naruto's head snapped up to meet Sasuke's gaze, his eyes wide with disbelief. "My...what?"

His hands tightened on Sasuke's, as if searching for some type of stability. "My... you're... that's..." His words tumbled over one another, his brain trying to process the statement. "I don't know who my father is." His eyes searched Sasuke's for confirmation. "You know that, Sasuke. You know that I don't have anyone... and.." His chest hurt again. "Father?" he whispered, half in disbelief, half in longing.

Sasuke watched the emotions move unchecked over Naruto's face and he felt a sudden weight jerk inside him, as if his heart had suddenly plummeted into his gut. Naruto, he realized with a faint trace of horror, wasn't pretending.
Comments 
30th-Dec-2005 09:48 pm (UTC)
I liked this story, but the complete lack of characters besides Sasuke, Naruto, and Yondaime was really disappointing. I feel like they could've done a lot more with the concept than just a romance.
30th-Dec-2005 10:00 pm (UTC)
Although I guess to be fair given the sheer amount of characters there are in the Naruto series it would make this an epic of humongous proportions. Sometimes making the character piece smaller makes it more managable. It's also possible this is a roleplaying piece which could also account for the small cameos other characters make in this piece. I do wonder what Iruka and Kakashi in this happier Naruto world are doing though... but that's just the happy KakaIru fan in me though. :)
30th-Dec-2005 11:28 pm (UTC)
XP

It was such a random, spur of the moment idea when I first came up with it. Ye gods, probably when I was bored during class one day. I'll mention it to Questy--and that's a good suggestion--to try and work with the other characters some more. It's quite a few chapters from being finished, and a lot can be done with them. ^^; Poor story, I can see it jumping about ten chapters more with any additions we made to it.

^__^ Thanks for the comments and the helpful feedback. ^_^
31st-Dec-2005 04:57 am (UTC)
It's really interesting to see someone other than myself of Lazz summarize our story. And, wow, you really nailed a lot of the things we were trying to get across. ^__^ There is, however ^^; just one thing that made me sort of cringe and go, "Really? Is that how the other Naruto is perceived?"

This part: ...his alter-self, who was basically a spoiled prince thrown into his hellish (i.e. normal) existence.

Maybe it's just the wording of it that's throwing me off and it wasn't really meant in the way I'm reading it, but I had hoped that the readers had gotten a sense of the other Naruto--through Sasuke's talking about him and comparing his life with 'our' Naruto's--as being well-loved and all that, but also a little bitter at being looked at as no more than the son of the Hokage, or worse, as the monster his father had to keep around.

Ok, comment getting out of hand. XD. Sorry. IN ANY CASE, readers ARE entitled to their own interpretations. I just happened to find this an interesting one ^__^ Thank you for the review!
31st-Dec-2005 05:09 am (UTC)
We really don't get to SEE the other Naruto... we only get Sasuke's perspective of it. And so maybe 'spoiled prince' is not the right words, but alter-Naruto's life has been easier, you would think if he suddenly got a cold-fish boyfriend, and the general population glaring at him it would be a hellish experience for him. Mind you not all things are flowers and gumdrops for alter-Naruto in his own world if people don't take kindly to his relationship with Sasuke to the point that he didn't want to live with Sasuke (or was it that he moved out... I'd have to go back and read it).

Ah yes, I imagine he would be bitter about the babying treatment that his father does, however, I'm only going to guess if situations get corrected that would change since Yondaime realizes that Naruto would (and can be) strong enough to look after himself without needing babysitters.
31st-Dec-2005 05:33 am (UTC)
Oh yes, alternate-Naruto falling into our Naruto's world would DEFINITELY be hellish. I wasn't contradicting that point at all ^^ But uh...yes. lol. I guess it really is hard to get a good idea of the other Naruto only hearing about him through Sasuke...but I can promise you at least that we get a TINY glimpse at the other Naruto in an upcoming chapter, lol. Not particularly in the way you might think, but there ya go XD.

^_^
25th-Jan-2006 06:19 am (UTC)
Love this story very much.

A very clever plot, nicely realised. Characterisations are spot on, and the alter-characters work well as the same people, with different issues.

In reply to previous comments, I have to say that I really don't see Naruto as a spoiled prince at all, more of a sweety-pie really. I worry about how he's coping. Would be nice to see some attempt at interaction between the 2 Narutos - my only complaint would be that sweety-pie Naruto is a bit of a cipher, and that it would be nice to see the number-one-ninja-at-surprising-people taking more control of his destiny and trying to help with a solution. And at least play a few long-distance tricks on the Naruto that's bonking 'his' Sasuke...booby-trap the under-pants drawer or something. Even though he's been more sheltered than 'our' Naruto, I would think that he would still have Naruto's wit and determination...and in fact it is hinted that he does, because his relationship with alter_Sasuke is run under Naruto's terms, not Sasuke's. The letter was a great device and more would be good. Having alter-Naruto *and* alter-Sasuke giving Naruto advice on Sasuke could be quite entertaining. Wonder if they'd agree... ^_^

I do agree that it would be nice to see more of Naruto with Yondaime also, if only because it is *sooo* heartwarming to see Naruto finally getting the love that he deserves. And Yondaime is a very likeable character. I think I mentioned elsewhere, that I would love to see Naruto discover a way to take vacations in this parallel world. That is my main worry with this story; that losing Yondaime will be heartbreaking.

The scene with Yondaime and Naruto training is really heartwarming. It's so nice to see Naruto getting unreserved approval for once. Acknowledgement datte bayo! Yayy!! This would probably effect our Naruto's self-esteem, yeah?

Ummm...don't suppose Yondaime tries oroike no jutsu by any chance? Pretty please? ^____^ (Think of the 'Like Father Like Son' icons everyone could make!!! I want one!^_^)

Including more Naruto characters...hmm. I think that that's a matter of opinion. I wouldn't add them unless they offer some serious plot growth or funny bits. I love SasuNaruSasu romance, and hate to see it diluted by a whole lot of other-character relationships that I'm not interested in. Which would be all of 'em. Although...there could be some good humour in cameos of Naruto characters in totally uncharacteristic alter-scenarios. Umm...2 boys walk into a bar, to find Tsunade married to a hen-pecked Jiraiya with 6 kids and serving drinks, breastfeeding (boobies!! o_O) and serving at the same time? A bit OOC but I guess even ninjas retire in peacetime. Of course, it would have to be funny... *cough cough*

If I have a single complaint, which I *don't*, because I adore every word of this story, it would have to be that I don't think that alter-Sasuke ever properly justified his seduction of our Naruto. I would have felt better about it, if he'd said that he was drowning his sorrows, or in denial, or something, rather than just that they were the same person, so it didn't matter. Maybe it's just normal Sasuke self-centredness. However...

Anyway.

This is *undoubtedly* one of the best Naruto stories around, and I would recommend it highly. A lot. ^_^



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